American Decline

Hanging Separately Doesn’t Sound so Bad

Bill Kristol’s buddy David French worries the system is collapsing.

By Micah Meadowcroft, The American Conservative

Divided We Fall: America’s Secession Threat and How to Restore Our Nation, by David French (St. Martin’s Press: 2021), 288 pages.

David French should write TV shows. He’d be good at it. And I think he’d like it. His work is full of references to popular television and movies, from Game of Thrones to the Marvel franchise. He writes about pop culture as a fan, and for fans. The middle section of his latest book, Divided We Fall: America’s Secession Threat and How to Restore our Nation, is made up of two pieces of speculative fiction—“Calexit” and “Texit,”—that beg for the prestige streaming service treatment. I’d watch them with great enjoyment. I hope he sells the options.

French is speculating about exit because he worries that we are, as James Madison warned against in Federalist no. 10, a factious country, and increasingly so. We may break apart, if we do not come together. But there is hope, for as Madison wrote, “There are two methods of curing the mischiefs of faction: the one, by removing its causes; the other, by controlling its effects.” The trouble is that the first cure is not an option, for:


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